Sodium channel currents in maturing acutely isolated rat hippocampal CA1 neurones

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Sodium channel currents were recorded in excised inside-out patches from immature (P4-10) and older (P20-46) rat CA1 neurones. Channel conductance was 16.6±0.013 pS (P20-46) and 19.0±0.031 pS (P4-10). Opening patterns varied with step voltage and with age. In some patches bursting was apparent at voltages positive to -30 mV. Non-bursting behaviour was more dominant in patches from younger animals. In older animals mean open time (m.o.t.) was best described by two exponentials especially in the older cells; in the immature, there were fewer cases with two exponentials. The time constant of inactivation (τh) estimated in ensemble averages was best described by two exponentials (τhf and τhs) in most patches from older cells. τhf decreased with depolarization; τhs increased in the range -30 to 0 mV. The voltage dependence of τhf in the older cells is identical to that of the single τh found in the younger; the results indicate a dominance of τhf in the younger. Patches from younger cells more often showed one apparent active channel; in such cases, m.o.t. was described by a single exponential. However, in two cases, channels showed bursting behaviour with one of these channels showing a shift between bursting and non-bursting modes. Our findings are consistent with a heterogeneous channel population and with changes in the population in the course of maturation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-174
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2001


  • CA1
  • Maturation
  • Mean open time
  • Sodium channel
  • Time constant of inactivation


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